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It all began with a simple high school assignment: research and write a report on poverty and hunger. Mutua Kasinga was a 14-year high school junior at the time. He decided to volunteer at a local food bank to get a firsthand look at the issue for himself. What he detailed in his report got him in front of school board staff who, impressed with his passion for the project, recommended he see what else he could do to help. Mutua soon realized that money that we drop on clothes and electronics can transform the online learning experience for high school teens in developing countries.

“It really bothered me, that families in poor countries must struggle so much just to feed themselves, let alone live an enjoyable life” — Mutua

Mutua decided to focus his efforts on Africa, where just a couple of hundred bucks could transform learners' experience. He also realized that there were lots of charities out there, but none that really focused on teens his age and how they could contribute. He thought that was wrong — young people do want to make a difference in the world.

“Sometimes adults think our generation is ignorant, self-centered, and careless. I know we are not and I want us all to prove it to them. We have the passion, the dedication, when we see something wrong, we just don’t want to talk about it, we want to help make it better and solve the problem”.

The Jembe Fund was born. Right now Jembe Fund focuses on providing laptops, tablets, data access, online curriculum, and tutor resources for high school teens in Kenya and Tanzania.

If you’re wondering about the name, Jembe is Swahili for a hoe – this simple farming tool is often all a peasant farmer has to farm and feed his family. Therefore, a hoe is a critical tool needed by the farmers. Likewise, laptops, tablets, data access, online curriculum, and tutor resources, are fundamental if high school teens are to succeed in their education.

By giving a teenager laptops, tablets, data access, sponsoring their online curriculum, and tutor resources, we can provide them with a better way to study, work, and thrive. Mutua wants to inspire other teens to appreciate what they have and realize the positive benefits that giving to someone else can have on your self-image and self-esteem.

“You’ve been gifted to live a better life than so many people our age who grow up in poor countries. We receive a lot of gifts, technology, and money, if we use just a small portion of the resources we have to donate to someone in need, we can make just as big of an impact as any adult can”.

I think many young people will be shocked at how little money it takes to transform someone’s life in these countries. I want to show them that what is a small amount of money to us, ($15-25 dollars), can go a long way in a different country.

For just the price of some air pods, your support will help bridge the digital divide and help to reach every teen with online learning capabilities and the benefits that it entails.

“All that is just for the price of something so tiny!” Mutua hopes other teens will be inspired to help with the cause. His next goal is to reach 1000 donations by the start of the next school year. Could you help him reach that goal? Please do!